Five different versions of Memories of You were recorded –
all within a three-month period; and all with the 1939 sextet in NYC, same
personnel (Smack was reinstated as the sextet pianist for the concert) and routine:
one radio studio broadcast, one at a Waldorf-Astoria Hotel gig, two in the
Columbia recording studio for possible commercial release, and one in
concert at Carnegie Hall on Christmas Eve. Goodman’s forte was playing
the melody on ballads – his contributions to this tune are exemplary.
Charles’ usual method is to employ eighth notes in his solos. On slower
tunes he would use sixteenth notes in parts of his solos. Memories of You is
unique in that he applies sixteenth notes exclusively on all five versions.
And he plays much of the rhythm straight (not syncopated) on all five of his
solos usually holding the swingin’ till the last bar.
Each and every one of Charlie Christian’s solos is beautifully put together. Like whiffs of
fresh air. They arrive, exhilarate, and are quickly gone.
Oct 7, 1939
“Camel Caravan” broadcast from Radio City Studios
First recorded appearance of Memories of You turns up on a “Camel Caravan”
broadcast. Several singular phrases are found here that are not usually in other
tunes. A particularly interesting sequence is in bar 23 where Charles alternates
Ab augmented arpeggios over the
Gb9 leading to the concluding
Jan Evensmo in The Guitars of Charlie Christian… (1976):
of 5 versions of Memories…, slightly faster than the studio versions, and
one of the best.”
Claude Carrière in Charlie Christian, Vol. 1 (1992) MJCD 24 liner
“… a first rendering of the very pretty … Memories of You …
offers no more than an 8-bar bridge from the guitarist, yet within those few
seconds, Charlie displays his immense authority. He weaves two superb
phrases, then pauses at the fourth bar before fashioning a bold line in the
lower register that completes the bridge…”